The 2019 Sport upgrade of the FCA 500x has been out for a few weeks, but no choir of enthousiasts has been heard so far.
The Italian historic Fiat is celebrating 120 years of life and is still putting a lot of effort in the ABCs of cheap transportation: Affordable But Cool. A pity it falls somewhat short of expectations, especially when compared to its 500 model.
Appreciation is widespread for the strong engine, that could make you fantazise of an Indy 500 stunt with a bit of imagination. The overall looks are another plus: Italian style is always Italian style, no discussions here. The included Uconnet infotainement system is powerful and widely appreciated.
These are three generally recognized strong qualities of this compact crossover. On the disappointment side, a cramped interior space, though effort has been put in creating an attractive cabin.
The reat seats in particular have collected quite a lot of criticism for being uncomfortbale. Storage space is also rather limited: 14 cubic feet with the rear seats up, 40 with the seats down.
Two Firefly petrol engine choices are available: the 118bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder with a manual gearbox and the 148bhp1.3-litre four-cylinder. The latter is matched exclusively to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox with paddle shifters.
The 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder replaces previous larger units but offers similar power and more torque. Fuel economy is improved at 24/30 mpg city/highway.
Remarkably, this holds true also with the all-wheel drive standard. AWD is included in the basic trim, by the way, which partly justifies the higher price tag, but it’s no Abarth 500.
The turbo is sized specifically to maximize efficiency and performance, with the addition of an electronically controlled wastegate. Peak torque happens at 2,200 rpm, which means 1,700 rpm lower than the 2.4-liter unit in previous models.
FCA has updated its Multiair valve timing system to use it in the GSE engine. A hydraulic solenoid makes sure that the right amount of air is allowed into the combustion chamber.
This results in more efficient operation of the engine, that also warms up faster thanks to the integrated exhaust manifold and electronic thermostat.
No, it’s not an Abarth. FCA is stubbornly not going that way. But it comes close, with an all round design, bold edges and beautifully finished 19″ alloys.
The front view is the most typically “Fiat-ish”, with full-LED lighting, while the side profile is quite standard.
The Sport 500x has been lowered by 13 mm. (0.5 inches), contributing to its sleeker overall appearance
Seduction Red is the colour that best fits the mood of this little beast. Keep in mind that if you choose it, the black roof option will not be available as with the other colours (Italia Blue, Darkwave Black, Bossa Nova White, Heavy Metal Gray).
Titanium Gray accents highlight the body-colored front fascia, mirror caps, wheel arches and newly designed read bumper.
The interior is mainly black, with grey touches. Leather is one of the available options, though a bit pricey.